Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Dreams

It's a farewell to summer kind of weekend.  Fear not though.  We have a whole season of football, holidays, and fashion weeks to look forward.

So while you're squeezing out the last ounces from your sunscreen bottles,  enjoy this tune and clip that share the season's namesake.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't speak

 Anyone who knows me knows I like to talk. I'm a word vommer who both craves and delights in human contact, so much so that I am likely to skip the ATM and walk into the bank, and eschew paying at the pump to catch up with my gas station guy. I abhor self-checkout and catch a lot of flack among friends for always insisting on riding shotgun with the cabbie.

Between G-chat, Twitter, Facebook, texting and their ilk, it seems to me that modern technology makes it simpler and simpler to go your whole day without uttering a word to anyone out loud. Hell, you can know how someone's day was without ever asking them, simply by staring voyeuristically at their Instagram feed.

Basically, I'm all about the old-fashioned gift of gabbing it up with friends, family, friends-of-friends, people within earshot of your car open car window . . . you get the gist. I make a concerted effort to interact.

So I didn't know how to feel this weekend at the lake when a friend of ours, a fifth grade teacher, revealed her method of classroom noise-control. Instead of the "use your words, not your hands" mantra that I grew up with, she flipped the switch by teaching her students to use a series of hand motions to convey the scope of their needs and opinions — silently. 

It borrowed heavily from American Sign Language, with a bit of contemporary gesticulation tossed in. For example, "yes" or "I agree" was a double-handed jazz wave of sorts. To convey the opposite, you made the "CUT!" sign a movie director would at your neck. Kinda sassy like. If you had to pee, you crossed your fingers (the way your legs would be if you really had to pee), stuck your hand in the air and waved it around as if to say "THIS IS AN EMERGENCY."

As the night wore on and the moonshine got passed around and the beers got made into shandies and the sun went down, words somehow seemed . . . less important, or maybe just less coherent. So much time was spent recounting words we'd spoken years ago and singing other people's that we didn't have to string together many of our own, original sentences. 

Plus, I have to admit it was pretty convenient to be able to shoot your hand in the air when you had to tinkle. You didn't even have to bother removing the bottle from your face-hole! 

So I suppose the lesson here is that even for a chatty Cathy like myself, when it comes to using your words it boils down to this: 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Friday!

It's Friday, it's Friday!

Caroline is trippin' in the state of Missouri this weekend, while Suz is hard at work celebrating her 26th.  So no new commentary on this day.

Summer's coming to an end soon, folks (sorry, someone had to say it).  So enjoy it with this tune!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Difference

Contemplating badging my age of "26" at the work place tomorrow.  This was so "in" back in 1990.  Well, let's face it, the whole look was.
Well once again my Birthday has found its way to me.  It's not that I have necessarily been avoiding it.  Rather, I just never know what to do with it.  Like so many other matters, I handle the day in a particularly awkward manner.  It's not a day I will ever plan anything for.  The well wishes via phone call, text message, and Facebook while very much appreciated, overwhelm me in many ways.  Yet all the while I very much expect for something to happen.  Not a surprise party kind of something (dear God, that would completely terrify me).  I guess what it is that I wish and hope for most on my Birthday is a feeling of closure for the year of life that has come to an end.  Then of course some imparted wisdom and rays of hope to grow on.

In my mind it's always made more sense to make resolutions for Birthdays rather than the New Year.  Let's face it, the mark of a personal new year is stamped with a number.  While our's country's math proficiency is in the tank, it's funny how quickly we can add, subtract, multiply and divide age differences.  As a quick elementary refresher, the difference is what you end up with when you subtract one item or number from the other.

To let my nerd tendencies run wild, let's just take 26, which I have always had the strange feeling would prove a great year for myself.  At 26 I can chalk up this much: a solid no-fluff resume, a higher sartorial quality closet, and more commitments.  I'll even add the centimeters here and there that were not on my 23 year-old figure.  If we subtract 25 from that, then some unspoken-for-bruises, a bakers dozen of stress-induced wine bottles (the rest can stay), and a few choice words can all be taken out.  We're then left with the difference of a slightly non-committal, borderline workaholic, who is very well groomed.  Hey, I've been called worse things.

So that was then, 25.  Not too shabby by any means.  I just think I can do even better with 26.  It may very well be that I won't know exactly what to do on my actual Birthday.  I'll place even good money though that I'll see myself through in the days after of the year.

It was just so much easier when I asked for Barbies...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On dumping deadbeat boyfriends and dead-end jobs

Breaking up is hard to do

Shortly after I turned 25, I quit what I had thought was my dream job and made a lateral leap of faith. The more hand-wringing I did over this decision, the more it hit me: This felt familiar. I had been dating the same guy for awhile, and had almost forgotten how breaking up feels, and how much it sucks. Even though I was terminating my employment and not ending a romance, it felt nearly indistinguishable.  I felt guilty and sad, but also excited and relieved. I hoped my ex employer was able to find a suitable replacement, and I dreaded running into mutual friends at social functions.

Once I made the deadbeat boyfriend/dead-end job connection, it got easier. I felt more justified, like I deserved better. So I flipped my hair with purpose and marched out the door, onward and upward.

For the benefit of fellow ambitious young people who’ve been convinced they’re lucky to have a boyfriend that doesn’t hit them or a job that pays minimum wage, allow me to illuminate the ways in which leaving a stagnant job is like dumping a bad boyfriend (and why you should do it, do it now):

Move forward or Move on:

If your role evolves but your title won’t, whether that’s from assistant to associate or significant other to spouse, you’re wasting your time.

How long would you date someone before meeting his or her parents? How long would you live with someone before making plans to make it permanent? There comes a point in either relationship — personal or professional — when you realize it’s not going anywhere. And when you stop moving forward, you have to move on.

No bluffing:

When I left the first job I ever loved, my boss asked me why I hadn’t just demanded more money. I had thought about taking my new offer back and laying out an ultimatum, but decided that, in the end, it wouldn’t rectify the root problem.

It’s the same with relationships.

Could you stomp your feet, make empty threats about your imminent departure and demand some grand gesture? Sure. But what would it change, really? Flowers die, and that 2-percent raise doesn’t even cover inflation. I’ve learned first-hand: boyfriends — and bosses — don’t change.

Stop looking and you’ll find it:

It’s when you’re not looking that love — and a job you love — seem to fall into your lap. For me, the fact that I wasn’t willing to accept just anything that came my way meant my next opportunity was worth the wait. I was able to articulate to my prospective employer exactly what I was looking for, what didn’t get me going and what I wanted my day-to-day existence to look like.

Had I gone in reeking of “rebound,” I would have made a less attractive candidate and I wouldn’t have been chased the way I was or treated as well once I was caught.

It’s not me; it’s you:

Sometimes it’s not about diminishing affection or any love lost, you’re simply not being treated well enough. The timing was off.  The effort was unbalanced. Your needs weren’t getting met.

Take ownership of your decision to end it and make your exit with grace; appreciate everything you learned and abandon any resentment or bitterness for your employer or your ex.  After all, you never know when you could use a good reference.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

About Whine with Friends

Whine: verb, \ˈhwīn, ˈwīn\
To utter a plaintive or distressed cry; to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying manner

Wine: noun, \ˈwīn\
An alcoholic fermented juice of fresh grapes; The only and obvious solution to such distress

Friends: Suzanne + Caroline